Label P LB J20

Chair: Orleton Primary School

Scott Myers, Orleton Primary School, Orleton, Herefordshire (180 pupils)

Running your PTA

  • How many people are there on your committee? 7 members
  • How long have you been Chair? 3 years
  • When is your busiest time of year? The autumn term, as we have our two biggest fundraisers in this term
  • When is your quietest time of year? November/December, as we only have one small fundraiser this term due to the expense of Christmas for most people!
  • How hands-on are you as a Chair? I do delegate but I tend to do the majority myself, whether it is overseeing all or taking on the tasks. I consider myself a very hands-on Chair.
  • What is your relationship like with the school and the staff? It's excellent; I am very pleased to say!

Tips and advice

  • What advice will you pass on to your successor? To make sure that the PTA works as one with the school and most importantly with the school children
  • What do you wish you'd known before becoming Chair? I had been Chair of a secondary school PTA for five years previously, but I must admit that I would have liked to have known more about how different a small primary school in very rural England is!
  • What have you personally gained from being Chair? I feel a great sense of achievement in helping both schools raise much-needed funds to enhance the children's daily lives at school. It's also great to bring the PTA, teachers, other school staff, and the children together to work as a team.
  • What is the best thing about being Chair? Working with everyone at the school for a mutual cause to make things even better!
  • What do you think makes a good PTA Chair? Being able to give strong leadership, work well with others, communicate well, and enjoy what you are doing!

Challenges in the role

  • What challenges have you faced? Nothing really, apart from when Ofsted arrived on site at my previous school and interrupted the preparations of our annual PTA Ball, but we managed to get all done in time in the end!
  • Have you ever had an instance where you have had to challenge the school's decision(s)? Yes, at my previous school when the PTA wanted to spend money on installing drinking water fountains, which the pupils had identified as something they really needed. The school wanted to spend the money on a landscaping project, but in the end we did agree to install the fountains after discussion.

Boosting support

  • How do you go about recruiting volunteers for events? We distribute plenty of publicity via school email, letter and Facebook page. I had to issue a very strong letter a few years ago asking for support, as at the time I was the only member! I am pleased to say the several parents volunteered and all is now good again!
  • How do you go about boosting morale and motivating your committee? Holding our committee meetings at the village pub helps!
  • How do you welcome new families to the school? We hold an autumn BBQ and fete at the beginning of term to welcome new pupils and their families. At my previous school we held a cheese and wine evening for the new parents.

Stepping down

  • How long do you intend on being Chair? For a few years yet, unless someone else is very keen to take the role on!
  • How long did you plan on being Chair when you started, and has this changed since taking on the role? At both schools, the position of Chair was pretty much vacant, so I stepped into the role at the earliest opportunity, and plan to be around for as long as is needed.
  • Do you intend on having your successor shadow you in the role, before you step down? We have a Vice-Chair on our committee, so hopefully this will happen naturally!

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